24 Days is the brilliance of a woman I happened upon one day while rambling through the internet. I now consider this woman, MaryLee Fairbanks, a good friend. This page is devoted to the 24 days. The objective of 24 days is to clean out the clutter in your life, in your home and in your heart. When you get rid of the clutter, you are making room to accept the new. This could mean new people, ideas, opportunities, etc... Also when you clean out the clutter you become more intuned with your own mind, body and purpose. Another component to the 24 days is not to buy anything new during this period. (Obviously, you have to buy essentials like food!) It is a powerful exercise. During the 24 days you should journal about your experiences everyday. There is a lot more to this exercise so I strongly encourage you to read all about it. (links below) If you would like to join me, please by all means, post your daily journal here! The current cycle begins April 1st.
To learn more about MaryLee Fairbanks and 24 days visit her website here: MaryLeeFairbanks.com
To read the article I had originally stumbled upon, click here: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/12/a-revolution-in-resolutions-six-steps-to-calling-your-deepest-desires-into-your-life/
My 24 Days Journal
Introduction - Why am I doing the 24 days? I did, after all, just endure, survive, participate in this exercise in January! Why do it again? There are a few reasons. One reason is plain and simple; I like the discipline. The past fews years have been stressful and busy. I've allowed stuff to accumulate. It needs to go. This exercise forces me to do it every day. Sure, I could do it whenever, but obviously I don't. There are always other things to do so it gets pushed to a back burner. This exercise brings a discipline and prescribed time frame. Another reason is that this exercise forces me to think. I find myself thinking about things I hadn't anticipated. For example: when I cleaned out a kitchen drawer, I found an old sippy cup top. That top triggered a flood of memories of how much has changed. I thought of the many years of happy memories I have to cherish, etc. The process can be very emotional. It also forces me to let go of things and feelings that I've hung on to long enough. By cleaning clutter out of my life and focusing on my "Sankalpa" (see article above), I can start to understand my purpose more clearly. When you are more clearly in tune with your purpose, you are better prepared to achieve it and live your best life! (PS If you decide to join me, your journal in no way has to resemble mine! Journal your journey, your way! Feel free to add your journal entry below.)
April 1, Day 1 - My plan for today is to clean out the drawers in my kids bathroom. I've been excited to get this done and saved it for the 24 days.
Off to an interesting start, I didn't get to clean out bathroom drawers, instead I ended up devoting a significant amount of time to cleaning out and organizing files on my computer. I still have a lot more to do with this. But it feels good to be making progress.
April 2 - Going to try again for the bathroom drawers. ***Update: Okay...that didn't happen yet! I did clean out my purse! That HAD to be done! :)
April 3 - I am not off to a great start! Yesterday the only cleaning out I got to do was emptying garbage cans. Lame, yes. Here's why: I took my son into NYC. We had a GREAT day. We had lunch, went to see Holland Taylor in the Broadway show "Ann Richards" , did a little window shopping, had dinner and then got stuck in tremendous traffic. By the time I arrived home at 9pm I was just too tired to start a cleaning project.
April 4 - It was another full day. A very busy but wonderful day. I had a lot of writing to get done in the morning. I like writing and I take my obligations seriously. I began doing my writing and other coorespence at 7 am and worked up until I had just enough time to jump on my exercise bike for 30 minutes (yes, I am still at it every day!! this is a record breaking commitment to exercise for me!) I then jumped in the shower and rushed off to meet some new and old friends for lunch. It was a GREAT lunch. I met some really positive, smart, enthusiastic, funny women. We enjoyed very lively conversation. I am excited for them and their new project! By the time I got home, I had to deal with some mail, get dinner, feed the pets, catch up with friends online...BUT because I committed to this I finally cleaned out 1 bathroom drawer in my son's bathroom at 9 o'clock last night! YAY! No, really, I felt really proud of myself for getting that done. (and it was gross! lol It really needed to be cleaned not just emptied!)
Here is another piece of this pie. I don't know if I shared this before with you. If I have, forgive me. Among other things like the arthritis in all my joints and herniated discs and back/neck problems, I also have fibromyalgia. Its one of those diseases that people still kind of think of as "fake" so I always hesitate talking about it. The reason I share it is because a huge part of managing all of this is balance. I have to consciously pace myself. So while I love a full and busy day, it often means I pay the next day or week. Its frustrating because the older I get, the more I want to do! My heart wants to squeeze every moment out of every day. Unfortunately some days I am left so exhausted and in so much pain, I can barely get out of bed. Right now just about every fiber of my being hurts. My hands are swollen, stiff and in pain. My neck is also stiff and has a pulled muscle, my feet, my back, it all just hurts. Another component to fibromyalgia is something called "brain fog". It is hard to think! So you can see why pacing myself is important.
I am 100% committed to the 24 days. If some days it may seem like I am giving a half -assed effort please understand, some days that is just the best I have to offer. After an unusually super busy week, I can't say what the next few days might bring. I may be doing some little projects. Its incredibly frustrating to have all these big goals in my mind and not be able to execute them! That said, I still feel incredibly blessed and overwhelmed with joy for all the good people in my life! I am always energized and inspired by you all!
April 5 - I thought cleaning out the drawers in my kids bathroom would be a relatively simple job - I just had to decide what stays and what goes, right? Wrong. I ended up tearing the whole place up. Now it is a 2 day project. :) Good thing I am doing it on a weekend not while my son would need that bathroom to get ready for school! See? Everything happens for a reason!
April 6 - More working in cleaning out the cabinets and linens in the kids bathroom!! Now I just have to line the shelves (I love using shelf liner! Do you??) and put everything away, all clean, fresh, folded and organized. Let's see how long it will stay that way. :) I am definitely feeling the effects of this process. I am feeling very unsettled. I feel like I am on the brink of a big change...like I am falling but haven't landed yet. Interesting, right? Its going to be a very interesting month.
April 7 - FINALLY. Yes, finally that bathroom is completely cleaned out. I know, how could it possibly take 3 days to clean out a bathroom. BUT I CLEANED EVERYTHING. All the drawers and cabinets were emptied. All the towels, floor mats, tub mat, etc washed and dried, . All the cabinets and drawers washed, dried and re-lined. The tub, sink, mirrors, floors, mouldings - everything scrubbed. Broken towel rack repaired, And I am happy to report 2 garbage bags of stuff ditched. This kid better keep it clean for a while. :)
I am still feeling very much in a funk. I feel overwhelmed, tired, sad. I feel like I am at a crossroads and its time to go forward. I see friends slipping away. I know life moves forward but I am not sure I am ready to yet. I know. I am not making sense. Hopefully this funk will lift and the clean out will help reveal what is next for me. In any event...I have one really clean bathroom right now!
April 8 - Yesterday was housework clean out. Hey, the usual stuff has to get done too! BUT I also cleaned out a couple of suitcases and a pile of papers! I keep "trial size" and samples in my small piece of luggage so when I go away, I am fully stocked. I have managed to amass quite a collection. :) It was time to sort them out and clean things up. I also changed my sheets (I LOVE fresh sheets!!!!) did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, washed the floors, finished paperwork that was lingering around, I actually got a lot done. And then I went back to this website....I have decisions that need to be made.
April 9 - I am still hung up on cleaning up this website and making it more visually appealing and organized. I poured over hundreds of templates and I hated them all. I am feeling the tug to go in a different direction here. And yet, I have gotten virtually no where. Am I wasting my time or is this a necessary component to growth? I want this blog to be meaninful and interesting. I am hoping by categorizing the entries, it will be easier to navigate. Now....what am I going to clean up and ditch around here??? ugh. (not that there isn't anything to throw out...trust me - there is plenty. I am just fixated on the website and not all the other work that I need to do!! ha ha )
Well, I didn't actually clean out anything physical from my house. BUT!! I cleaned out my website and my mind. After all my research, I decided to just tweak my website for now, add a few things, take away a few things, etc...but at 3:00 I decided I needed to step away from everything. On a whim, I called a friend I hadn't seen in a while (something I never do...) and surprisingly she was free! So we both met for coffee. We both spent 4 wonderful hours chatting, laughing and catching up. We sat outside at a cafe soaking in all the wonderful weather. I felt so energized! I felt better than I had in over a week. I also felt the creative juices flowing again. FUNK over! So I guess, I can say I cleaned out the FUNK!
I love the 24 days! Always shakes things up. I haven't re-written my sankalpa yet. I still feel the words I chose were very powerful. I still beleive in them. I still have them posted so I see my sankalpa every single day.
April 10 - cleaned out the mail bin and all the bills and paperwork. I dread it but feels so good when its done.
April 11 - Thank goodness for 24 days! I cleaned out the fridge...there were some funky looking hot dogs shoved into the back! GROSS! :)
April 12 - I started to clean out this big drawer in my coffee table. Started but didn't finish. I am finding difficult to get my cleaning out done! There has been SO much going on and I have felt very inspired and creative all of a sudden. I am so busy acting on my ideas and trying to make some cool things happen. Its exciting and fun. Its hard to stay focused on cleaning! But I am trying. So I did start. Rome wasn't built in a day and at least I am 1) getting something done every day and 2)I haven't bought anything!
The "not buying anything other than essentials" part of this can at moments be a challenge unto itself. I try to resist the urge and temptation by staying away from the stores. As a mom though, it is almost impossible to stay a way from a store for too long. A household needs things. At times this can be the most challenging part of this activity. But it is a good one and one that aligns with my core of intuitive philoshphy: big difference between a want and a need. It is good to re-examine this. So far so good. I have to go shopping today - so wish me luck.
April 13 - I did great with the shopping! I bought nothing except the necessaries. As for cleaning out, I cleaned out the aquarium. God bless the lone fish who has survived longer than any fish I have ever had...I think this fella has been there for 8 yrs! And his aquarium needed some serious cleaning out. :) He seems much happier now.
April 14 - I started the changing out of winter/summer clothes. I through out a big black bag of clothes. And that was just my dressers! I still have to do the closets. I also did the socks. My kids don't match thier socks (which drives me nuts) My daughter intionally wears mismatched socks. So we had one big sock basket. Yesterday I went thru every sock, matched the ones I could and through out the ones without matches. It was time consuming but so worth it!
April 15 - Today is a mental cleaning out day. Sure, it would be easier to throw out more clothes, but it occurs to me that I am wasting time and precious mind space harboring hurt feelings and resentments. I need to let it go. I need to forgive AND forget. I need to find a new way to define certain relationships. I also need to examine if I am guilty of doing some of the same things that have been done to me??? Could I do hurtful things without knowing it? I also need to find a away to come to terms with the fact that my ex will never play by the rules. He will never be capable of doing the right thing, even when it is required by law. So today I need to do some mental cleaning out and meditation. I suppose the fact that I am going to a wake this afternoon after I have a meeting with my attorney may just be a lesson disguised as a coincidence.
April 16 - I have to say, yesterday and today have all mushed into one big emotional blur. As I stated above, I started the day really feeling the need to do some emotional cleaning out. Then...Boston happened. Then I had to go to a wake. The wake was for an old man. He was 81. I went out of obigation. I wasn't expecting the emotional impact the wake would have or how intense and emotional the wake would be. The man was a neighbor when I grew up, but more than that...our families were and are very very close. Having us all together (with the exception of one of my brothers) was almost surreal. A lot of people I grew up with were there. The family and friends all got up and shared personal stories. Some funny, some poignant...all touching. His life was a great lesson for all of us. I also unfortunately experienced some betrayal and unkindness. At the end of the day, with all things taking its tolls...I cried the entire 45 minute ride home alone. And I still had to go to the funeral this morning. I envisioned it being traditional, maybe boring, no big deal. Would anyone notice if I didn't go? I really don't want to deal with it all. My parents would notice. Ok, I will get my act together and go. I think God intervened a little and somehow I left the house without my cell phone. I never EVER go anywhere without my phone. I think its a single mom thing, I worry my kids will need me. BUT, it was a blessing. I had to be completely present in every moment. The funeral was heartbreaking, emotional, beautiful - one of the most beautiful celebrations of life I have ever been to. The grandchilren spoke and his daughter, my friend, gave the most inspiring eulogy. I sobbed. The priest spoke with such sincerity. And...so many of the people I grew up with were all there! again! After the funeral - a big luncheon followed. More stories, more laughs, more tears.... It was a very long, exhausting, draining emotional 2 days. A lot of emotional baggage was stirred up. I did some facebook cleaning out. :) Other than that...I made an effort to clean up some clutter around the house.... and life goes on :)
April 17 - 21 - Ok, I have been slacking the past few days on my clean out efforts. It has been a crazy couple of days. I did clean out my aquarium, and it needed it. I also added a few new fish and it looks great now! Does buying fish count as making an unnecessary purchase? I like to think of it as rescuing the doomed. I also did some household clean out...like the grunging toaster oven...but not just a clean out, I mean wire brush scrubbing racks and trays, cleaning out all the little crevices toothpicks and knives, etc... Kids are not easy on appliances! I cleaned out some spaces in the laundry room and got a lot of laundry done and some other little jobs. But mostly, keeping up with all the regular housework, I had a ton of paperwork to go through and organzie for a legal matter (I guess that is sort of a clean out), shopping for my daughter's birthday and planning a trip to visit her at school and keeping up with my website has kept me very busy. Then add to that the fact that I have been sick all weekend, and well, there you have it. No big clean out jobs happened. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. I am proud of all I am accomplishing. I just need to find time to tackle a big clean out! I love how it feels when I am finished!